Family DinnerI just discovered a weekly feature at The Huffington Post that I want to share. It’s called The HuffPost Family Dinner Download —Conversation Starters For Your Family Dinner. Each Friday afternoon, “The Family Dinner” author Laurie David and the Huffington Post editors will highlight a current event that can be used as a discussion starter complete with thought-provoking questions.

The Family Dinner Download can be printed out or read from a computer, smartphone or iPad. I would say that the stories highlighted and the questions asked are for older kids — mature pre-teens and up. I could probably discuss many of these with my 11-year-old, but some of the topics as written might not be right for my 8-year-old. However, I can certainly change things around a bit and make many (but not all) of them on his level.

It looks like this feature began in November. The first topic was about the mid-term elections and highlighted the types of voters who turned out and the behavior of some of the losers — great discussion starters to get your family past the “How was your day?” discussion. More recent downloads feature the recent Arizona shootings and the deletion of the “n-word” from a recently published version of “Huckleberry Finn.”   

I really love this new weekly feature. Since reading “The Family Dinner,” I’ve made it a point of adding discussion starters to our dinner several nights a week. Many of them I’ve taken right from the book. We’ve ended up having some good discussions, and several times I’ve noticed that we’re sitting at the table longer than we normally would have. This Family Dinner Download gives us another resource for conversation ideas.

You can subscribe to receive The Family Dinner Download by e-mail each time it’s published if you don’t want to miss any of the discussions.

Robin Shreeves ( @rshreeves ) focuses on food from a family perspective from her home base in New Jersey.

The Family Dinner Download
A weekly Huffington Post feature is designed to get your family talking at the dinner table.